AgentBasedSOA.doc - Agostino Poggi Michele Tomaiuolo Paola...

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Abstract — Industry is more and more interested in executing business functions that span multiple applications. This demands high-levels of interoperability and a more flexible and adaptive business process management. The trend is to have systems assembled from a loosely coupled collection of Web services, which are ubiquitous and organically integrated. This technical area appears to be a natural environment in which the agent technology can be exploited with significant advantages. In the present paper, we propose a framework with the aim of supporting an agent-based SOA. The peculiar characteristic and strength of our research work is the integration of the agent technology with other strategic technologies, that is Web services, workflow, rule engine and semantic Web. Index Terms — Multi-agent systems, service oriented architecture, workflow, ontology, rule engine, trust management. I. I NTRODUCTION ost of the technology and market research companies, which provides their clients with advice about technology's impact on business and consumers, agree on the fact that the adoption of a SOA paradigm is strategic and should be part of the most forward-looking software projects. Nevertheless the paradigm shift is still quite challenging. M Agent technology is more and more considered one of the most interesting technologies to successfully support SOA. In fact, besides being an ideal mechanism for implementing complex systems, agent technology is well-suited to applications that are communication-centric, based on distributed computational and information systems, and requiring autonomous components readily adaptable to changes. Considering their peculiar features, the central role that agents should play in a SOA scenario is to efficiently support distributed computing and to allow the dynamically composition of Web services. To be successful, it is crucial to appropriately engineer and integrate agent technology with other technologies that have found and will find a purpose within enterprise computing: workflows, rule engines, the semantic Web and Web services. The vision which is making its way into the research community is to encapsulate the organization’s functionalities within appropriate interfaces and advertise them as one or more Web services, which could be integrated, when brought into play, in workflows. This innovative idea brings with it new outstanding opportunities but also new great issues, related mainly to the ability of automatically discovering and composing Web services. An answer to these problems could A. Poggi is with DII, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 181A, 43100, Parma, Italy (phone: +39 0521 905728; e-mail: [email protected] ). M. Tomaiuolo is with DII, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 181A, 43100, Parma, Italy (phone: +39 0521 905712; e-mail: [email protected] ) P. Turci is with DII, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 181A, 43100, Parma, Italy (phone: +39 0521 905708; e-mail: [email protected] ).
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